When Skyline Towers was built, in the 1970s, the county building code required that spaces in between the bars of a balcony be no wider than 6 inches. Code requirements passed in the 1990s reduced that allowable space to 4 inches. County Building Official Brian Foley told WTOP his records indicated that the balcony guards had not been replaced since the original construction.
“This is a horrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to the families who have lost their children,” Foley said.
Foley added that the owners of older buildings aren’t required to upgrade a balcony that’s not up to the current code, but that his department encourages owners to do it. If they want help, he said, “we will do our very best to help you get all the information you need, and issue permits to get you to be able to bring that balcony or that guardrail up to code.”
The police are still investigating Monday’s fall.
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.
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